77. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Their High Mightinesses have been discussing their differences
with Denmark, for which the king of England has offered his
interposition. He has displayed a friendly disposition towards
this state and some alienation from the Spaniards. He told the
ambassador plainly that the king of Denmark did ill to make a
close union with the king of Spain.
The Hague, the 9th July, 1640.
78. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Mr. Boswell, who for long acted as agent in Holland, was unexpectedly
sent back there last week, after having spent a year
at Court, to resume his charge, chiefly with instructions to put
the finishing touches to the arrangement made by M. d' Enflit
about the East Indies. The only thing required to settle the
matter seems to be the payment by the Dutch of what they owe
to the king's subjects as compensation for damages.
There is a good deal of talk about Enflit suggesting some
arrangement to settle the old difficulty between his Majesty and
the Dutch over the fisheries. The ministers here also state that
on the arrival of the Danish ambassador here the present ill
feeling between his king and the Provinces will be completely
dissipated by his Majesty's interposition, and that with the
dissappearance of old quarrels the relations between England and
the Dutch will become closer.
The Spanish ambassadors are much perplexed by these reports,
so contrary to the principles of recent months, and their hopes of
an alliance grow ever less, though it is so much desired in Spain
and was the motive for the mission of these two important
ministers. They have kept in the background for some time,
doing little or no negotiation.
After many discussions they have at length released the third
Scottish commissioner, who was imprisoned in the Tower for
having signed the letter to the Most Christian. He has left for
Scotland and has promised the king to use his influence with
energy in the cause of peace, stating that as his Majesty is disposed
to observe faithfully the treaty of Berwick he does not despair
of overcoming all differences. (fn. 1)
His Majesty has granted a pension of 500l. a year of their money
to General Chin, who has served for many years in the Swedish
armies, and with his own hand gave him a rich diamond worth
6000 crowns. He also allowed him a ship of the fleet to go to
Hamburg to fetch his wife, who lives there. The king proposes
to make use of this experienced commander to improve the order
and discipline of his troops. In the absence of anyone competent
to do this they behave with the utmost licence, with danger of
The Dutch sent four ships of war to escort the fleet they
expected from the Indies. The Dunkirkers, getting wind of
this, armed twelve vessels, which courageously encountered them,
capturing three and driving the fourth to destruction on the sands
here. They then took up their position at an island between
Scotland and Ireland and began to fortify it, under the pretext
that they were expecting the enemy. (fn. 2) His Majesty has been
greatly stirred at this news, and he remonstrated strongly to the
Spanish ambassadors, charging them to send at once to the
commander of the squadron to abandon the position immediately.
The Barbary corsairs have also passed through the Channel these
last days and fought with some English ships. Although these
defended themselves with courage, yet the merchants are much
alarmed at this audacity and urge the king to take steps to make
navigation and the trade of this mart safer.
London, the 13th July, 1640.
|79. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The king left the city yesterday for Oatlands, where the queen
now is. Before going he sent the Secretary Windebanck to me
to apologise for the delay of the Ambassador Fielding in returning
to his post. He tried to convey in a roundabout way to me that
he needed his services, particularly about parliamentary affairs.
He straitly charged me to inform your Excellencies of this and
to assure you of his desire to keep up the old correspondence ;
that the absence of the minister was in no wise due to lack of
respect, but to the special embarrassments of this crown. Windebanck
enlarged upon this and told me that although his Majesty
had written to your Excellencies to this effect last week, he
wished to add these offices to give greater emphasis to his
I replied that the Senate wished to continue the ancient
correspondence with this crown. The Ambassador Fielding
would be welcome on his return, and so would any other minister
of his Majesty, and I felt sure he would set out for Venice before
long. Windebanck replied that his departure would not be long
delayed. He then began to speak to me, with a show of confidence
of the troubled state of the king's affairs and the fear of worse
disturbances in the future. He went on to complain bitterly of
the procedure of the Spanish ambassadors. He said they knew
the straits of the crown and by their insincerity and trying to take
advantage they left no hope of any profit from their transactions.
He declared that they would not carry away from his Majesty
what they demanded, even though France, which did not like
these proceedings, left this Court without a minister at a time
when Spain had three. This reserve could only proceed from lack
of regard and esteem for his Majesty. He suggested, as from
himself, that if your Excellencies' ministers could induce the
Most Christian to send an ambassador here, it would gratify his
Majesty. I perceived that they are very anxious for a French
ambassador here, not only on the score of reputation, but to
make the Spaniards jealous, and thereby render them more
inclined to satisfy this crown.
I thanked the secretary for his confidences, highly commended
the idea of a good understanding with France and of caution
with respect to the subtleties and arts of those who wish to see
this crown disunited with France for the furthering of their own
ambitious designs. The minister agreed.
On Monday also the secretary of the Levant Company came to
this house. He gave me the enclosed note of Ven asking me to
write to your Excellencies to order the Proveditore of Zante to
arrest William Burdet, an Englishman, who troubles the affairs
of the Company there, and that he be consigned to an English
ship, and brought here, so that he may receive the punishment
he deserves for something done at Zante against the interests of
Feeling sure that your Excellencies would not readily grant
this request which might easily prove detrimental to the dignity
of the state as well as to the private interests of your subjects,
I made a courteous but circumspect reply, that I had no information
about the nature of the affair, I would serve his Majesty
in every way possible. I know that at Zante and in all your
Excellencies' dominions prompt justice was rendered to all his
Majesty's subjects, whom your Serenity loved and received as
your own and consequently the parties concerned could have
recourse to the magistrates at Venice in the assurance of receiving
every satisfaction from the justice of the state's representatives.
London, the 13th July, 1640.
80. Copy of note from the Secretary of State Vane.
My king and master at the instance of his subjects trading in
the Levant sea has commanded me to request your intervention
to obtain an order from the Prince and Senate of Venice to the
magistrate of Zante and Cephalonia to give such assistance as
may be necessary for putting on board an English ship and sending
to England one William Burdet, who might otherwise continue
his injurious proceedings or escape his Majesty's justice. His
Majesty feels sure of a favourable response. (fn. 3)
Whitehall, the 24th June, old style, 1640.
[Italian, translated from the French.]
81. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received no letters from you this week. The last
were of the 15th ult. We enclose advices for your information.
In response to your request we have decided upon the election
of a successor, who will start at an early date to relieve you.
Ayes, 114. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
82. That a noble be chosen in place of Giovanni Giustinian,
ambassador in ordinary to the king of Great Britain, who has
asked to be relieved, upon the customary penalties in case of
refusal and with the usual instructions.
He shall have 300 gold ducats a month for his expenses, for
which he is not called upon to render account.
300 ducats of lire 6 grossi 4 for his horses, trappings and chests,
and 1000 gold ducats as a donation, as well as a further 1000
ducats when he has completed two years at the embassy.
40 crowns a month of lire 7 each are assigned to him for all
expenses except couriers and the carriage of letters.
To the secretary for his equipment, 100 ducats, and to two
couriers, 20 ducats each.
For the salary and table expenses of the chaplain and interpreter,
186 ducats a year and 100 ducats respectively ; also a
further 100 ducats of current money each year in addition, in
accordance with the decision of this Council of the 18th October,
Ayes, 114. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
83. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to
the Doge and Senate.
We hear that instructions have been sent to the Marquis
Malvezzi to return, though it is thought that he will not do so
very soon. Don Alonso de Cardenas, who was there first as
Resident, is to remain as ambassador in ordinary. (fn. 4)
Madrid, the 21st July, 1640.
84. It being desirable that Vicenzo Contarini, chosen ambassador
in ordinary to the king of Great Britain, shall be able
to inform himself upon current affairs, be it decided that he may
attend this Council, but without being able to vote, as is customary,
until the time of his departure for the embassy aforesaid.
Ayes, 147. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
85. We recommend that the petition of Goddard Saul,
English merchant, to be allowed to export 60 casks of oil from
Crete, be granted, in spite of the injury done thereby to the duties,
in view of the good harvest and because he will export a quantity
of muscats. The duty may be adjusted and the petitioner should
be required to give pledges to return the empty casks.
Dated at the office, the 27th July, 1640.
|Giovanni Battista Foscarini
86. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
This week the king has come more than once from Oatlands
to this city to take part in long consultations with the ministers
which have all turned upon the ways of providing a certain
amount of money to meet the present expenses, which have
reduced the treasures of the crown to the last extreme. After
many conferences they decided to avail themselves of the third
part of the silver at present in the mint, brought there by individuals
to be coined into money, granting them in compensation
8 per cent, per annum, with a promise on the customs as security
for the capital and the king's word to pay it off within six months,
which is not believed.
This new plan, which does not receive general approval is
deeply resented by the interested parties, who have represented
in writing the very serious prejudice which will result to the mart
here, pointing out specially that on the arrival of the news in
Spain the further despatch of silver will be suspended, and this
kingdom will lose those advantages which have brought so much
wealth in the past, not less to the state than to the individual.
But the necessity under which his Majesty's affairs labour has
not left any room for the consideration of such matters, although
it is with regret, and the decree has been issued. As it strikes
a severe blow at the Genoese merchants of Madrid, proprietors of
this silver, it has also aroused the serious apprehensions of the
Spanish ambassadors, who fear that if they continue to send
specie from that Court for the requirements of Flanders, the
king, when still harder pressed, may decide to seize it, as Queen
Elizabeth did before. Accordingly they have sent a courier
in haste to their master with special news of this event. If it
compels the Spaniards to abstain from sending the money here,
it will prove very hurtful to the interests of that crown.
Besides this measure they have decided to coin 500,000 of
their pounds with three parts of copper and only one of silver, to
be of the same value as those which are all silver. They are now
devoting their ingenuity to find a way to put this in practice.
Every one recognises the harmful consequences and those who
are most skilled believe that it will involve insuperable difficulties,
for as the people here are not accustomed to use such base money
it will be difficult to oblige them to take it. The merchants of
the India and Levant Companies oppose the decision strongly,
more than others interested in trade, and are making vigorous
efforts to have it rescinded.
In Scotland the rebels are still besieging Edinburgh Castle.
They completed and fired a mine, but without any result, indeed
with some hurt to the attackers, who had little experience of the
use of such devices in that rocky situation. They have now sent
a certain force of troops to the castle of Nizdil to compel the Earl
there to abandon the royal side and join the Covenanters. At the
news of this orders have been sent to the Earl of Crevelandt to
collect with all speed 3000 infantry of the trained bands in the
county of Westmorland and hasten to succour the Earl, though
they do not know if he will be able to hold out until help arrives.
To Ireland also they have sent Colonel Brus and other officers
with orders to hasten the embarcation of the 10,000 infantry
which that kingdom promised to supply so long ago. The
Lieutenant, who has recovered his health, announces that he also
is going there very soon with a sum of money to facilitate the
moving of those troops. When these are joined with those which
are at Berwick and Carlisle they propose to institute a vigorous
offensive against the enemy by land and by sea. To this end
they celebrated on Friday by royal decree in this city and throughout
the realm, a strict fast, with public prayers imploring the
Divine aid in this important emergency.
Reports are reviving of the king's going to fight in Scotland,
and all the councillors are ordered to present themselves at
Hampton Court on Sunday next, where His Majesty will be, to
settle the final resolutions. These may be changed in conformity
with the events, as frequently happens at this Court, which
changes more readily than any other, so that one can never be
sure about any decision.
The courier sent by the Catholic ambassadors to Madrid, as I
reported, has returned to them, and they at once saw the Lieutenant
of Ireland, who is one of those deputed for their negotiations
and the most partial, but so far the exact tenor of his message
has not transpired. All the same it is firmly believed that these
ministers will return to Spain without settling anything. They
are trying their hardest to make it believed that the revolts in
Catolonia are of no moment and easily to be adjusted.
The same courier brought letters of credence for the Resident
Cardinas, appointing him ambassador in ordinary to this crown,
and he has now withdrawn, to prepare himself for his new appearance.
In order to reduce expenditure as much as possible they have
cut down the original assignment to the queen mother by one half.
With great perturbation of spirit Her Majesty has had to dismiss
a good number of her household, and to arrange to live a more
The queen was delivered of a prince on Friday. (fn. 5) All the
ministers and those of Spain in particular lighted bonfires at
this happy event, and I also did not fail in my duty, and further
performed the proper offices with the king, which were received
The day after to-morrow I shall go to Oatlands, where the queen
is, to do what friendship requires and express the solicitude with
which your Excellencies regard the happy events of this House.
They send word from Plymouth that the Dutch Vice Admiral
fell in with twelve ships of Dunkirk. There was a prolonged
fight. It is not yet known who had the advantage.
London, the 27th July, 1640.
87. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dunkirkers will abandon the island of Estland before the
Vice Admiral puts to sea, from fear of being forced to give it up.
It is thought that the king of England, thus made aware of the
opportunities of that position thinks of taking possession and
The English Resident has returned here after a long absence,
which he took on the pretext of private affairs. He had audience
of the States three days ago, but only dealt with generalities.
He is waiting for the appointment of commissioners. If these
Provinces chose to make advances in the direction of an understanding
the conclusion of the treaty between the king and the
Spaniards might be postponed. But here, since the destruction
of the Spanish fleet, there is no sign of any inclination among the
generality for more confidential relations with England, since
apprehension of resentment on the part of his Majesty has more influence
with the people here than the persuasions of his ministers.
The Hague, the 28th July, 1640.
88. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
After having treated with the king and ministers more than
once, the Palatine is about to return to Paris. He asked to be
restored to his former liberty, but this is expected to be difficult,
as the King of Great Britain does not incline to take any step in
his favour, though asked from here to unite with France to
contribute some assignments which may make him a power in
Germany. He excuses himself on the ground of domestic affairs
and says frankly that he is not able To this the ministers
here respond that if he is in no condition to help his own nephew,
still less will he be capable of making war on France, so he must
not take it ill if in the future they attach little importance to his
threats. Thus in spite of the continued negotiations of the two
Spaniards it is seen that they do not mind France being without
an ambassador at that Court.
Amiens, the 29th July, 1640.